SQL Overview

170 View    Jan 30 2020 10:29PM

SQL is a language used to run databases; it includes database creation, deletion, retrieval of rows, modification of rows, etc. 

SQL is an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard language, but there are many different versions of SQL.

What is SQL?

SQL is Structured Query Language, which is a computer language for storing, manipulating and retrieving data stored in a relational database.

SQL is the standard language for Relational Database System. All the Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS) like MySQL, MS Access, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Postgres and SQL Server use SQL as their standard database language.

Also, they are using different dialects, such as −

  • MS SQL Server using T-SQL,
  • Oracle using PL/SQL,
  • MS Access version of SQL is called JET SQL (native format) etc.

Why SQL?

SQL is popular because it offers the following advantages –

·        Allows users to access data in the relational database management systems.

·        Allows users to describe the data.

·        Allows users to define the data in a database and manipulate that data.

·        Allows to embed within other languages using SQL modules, libraries & pre-compilers.

·        Allows users to create and drop databases and tables.

·        Allows users to create view, stored procedure, functions in a database.

·        Allows users to set permissions on tables, procedures and views.

A Brief History of SQL

·        1970 − Dr. Edgar F. "Ted" Code of IBM is known as the father of relational databases. He described a relational model for databases.

·        1974 − Structured Query Language appeared.

·        1978 − IBM worked to develop Coed’s ideas and released a product named System/R.

·        1986 − IBM developed the first prototype of relational database and standardized by ANSI. The first relational database was released by Relational Software which later came to be known as Oracle.

SQL Process

When you execute a SQL command for any RDBMS, the system will determine the best way to perform your request, and the SQL engine will determine how to interpret the task.

There are various components included in this process.

These components are −

  • Query Dispatcher
  • Optimization Engines
  • Classic Query Engine
  • SQL Query Engine, etc.

A classic query engine handles all the non-SQL queries, but a SQL query engine won't handle logical files.

Following is a simple diagram showing the SQL Architecture –

SQL Commands


The standard SQL commands to interact with relational databases are CREATE, SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and DROP. These commands can be classified into the following groups based on their nature –


DDL - Data Definition Language


Command & Description



Creates a new table, a view of a table, or other object in the database.



Modifies an existing database object, such as a table.



Deletes an entire table, a view of a table or other objects in the database.

DML - Data Manipulation Language


Command & Description



Retrieves certain records from one or more tables.



Creates a record.



Modifies records.



Deletes records.

DCL - Data Control Language


Command & Description



Gives a privilege to user.



Takes back privileges granted from user.